Labeling strategies for magnetic cell isolation

Direct or indirect magnetic labeling of cells for isolation

  • Direct labeling for fast and specific magnetic cell isolation
  • Indirect labeling as useful strategy for untouched cell isolation
  • Cell separation reagents and strategies for virtually any cell type

Direct magnetic labeling

Direct labeling with MACS® MicroBeads is a specific method to magnetically label cells of interest. MACS MicroBeads specifically bind to antigens on the cell surface, requiring only one incubation step and a minimal number of washing steps, therefore minimizing cell loss. 

Highly specific cell separation reagents for direct labeling of numerous cell types with MACS MicroBeads are available for human, mouse, rat, and non-human primate cells. Find a complete list of MicroBeads below.

Indirect magnetic labeling

Indirect magnetic labeling is based on a two-step procedure. 

During the first step, cells are labeled with a primary antibody directed against a cell surface marker of choice. In a second step, the cells are magnetically labeled with MACS MicroBeads, which either bind to the primary antibody or to a molecule that is conjugated to the primary antibody. The primary antibody can either be unconjugated, biotinylated, or fluorochrome-conjugated. Accordingly, magnetic labeling is achieved with Anti-Immunoglobulin MicroBeads, Anti-Biotin MicroBeads, or Anti-Fluorochrome MicroBeads. 

Indirect labeling can also be performed by using a cocktail of primary antibodies to concurrently label a number of unwanted cell types, for example, for the untouched isolation of target cells.

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